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Sunday, 20 April 2014

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Scotland independence 'yes' vote could have major implications for Cumbria

Carlisle and other parts of Cumbria could be ‘invaded’ by the Scottish if the country goes for independence in a year’s time.

Stewart Young photo
Stewart Young

Council leaders say Carlisle could see an influx of Scots moving in, depending on how services change, and say the much-reported ‘booze cruise’ – due to a potential Scottish minimum alcohol unit price - could be a real possibility.

Stewart Young, the leader of Cumbria County Council, said that a paper – Borderlands – had been produced outlining the implications of independence for the borders.

The Scottish referendum on whether to go it alone takes place a year today. Mr Young said: “Being right on the border, there are issues if they vary the tax for example. We would be a border post.

“If services diverge significantly from services in England we would get people taking advantage of it.”

Mr Young said the “booze cruises” were a real possibility and remembers when Scottish pubs used to close on Sundays people used to regularly cross the border into England for a drink. He said: “When I was at university in Aberystwyth, Dyfed was dry on a Sunday. If you wanted a drink you either had to go to places that opened illegally or go to the next county.”

Around four million voters will take part in the referendum and if the majority vote yes the move could have profound implications for north Cumbria.

Businesses could relocate north of the border if Scotland introduces a more favourable tax regime with Carlisle once again becoming a border outpost.

Colin Glover, the leader of Carlisle City Council, said that he felt there would be an effect whichever way the vote went and added: “I imagine the Government will be handing out new powers.”

He said the Scottish tax regime might make businesses consider relocating across the border from Cumbria.

“It’s one of those things – until it goes through we are not really sure what is going to happen. It will turn Carlisle into a border city again,” he said.

Mr Glover said that there could also be positive aspects for the area and he had been talking to leaders from a number of cross-border authorities on better ways of working together.

He said: “I want to work for the best interests of Carlisle. I think the union is best for both sides of the border.”

The referendum was made lawful on 15 October 2012 when Alex Salmond, Scotland’s First Minister, and Prime Minister David Cameron signed the Edinburgh agreement which confirmed the UK Government would give the Scottish parliament the legal power to stage the independence referendum.

Have your say

What is all the rubbish about carlisle becoming scottish. You having a laugh there would be anachy on the streets if it was even sugested. I would love to know what currency they will use if vote yes. Let them go. Re build the wall and never let them back.

Posted by CarlisleBorn on 1 October 2013 at 18:45

If enyone went to carlisle castle there is a stone that states back in the early 1500's that the land carlilse is built on still to this day belongs to scotland. As fof education it says a lot if the english royal family want a Scottish education? Scottish legal system is tougher. There is a better, faster health system over here.

Posted by d hayes on 1 October 2013 at 18:37

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